Located in the southern Flinders Ranges, this beautiful national park offers a few campgrounds and a selection of great hikes into gorges shaded by red river gums.
Mambray Creek Camground
We stayed at Mambray Creek, shaded by big, twisted river red gums along the dry creek bed. There are 54 designated sites, with plenty of taps offering great tasting drinking water. In the centre of camp are toilets, showers and deep sinks for dishes and hand washing clothes.
If you’re after more sheltered accommodation, there is a cabin that offers basic accommodation right next to the amenities. It sleeps a maximum of four people, contains a stove, table and chairs with cooking and eating utensils but refrigeration and bedding is BYO.
We couldn’t believe how close the animals got. Our first surprise was a curious goanna lurking in the bushes near camp and a band of kookaburras perched in the nearby trees while we cooked dinner on the electric BBQ. We also saw emus and kangaroos during our hike to Sugar Gum Lookout.
Daveys Gully Hike – 1 hour loop, 2.4km
A track that everyone who camps at Mambray Creek should do. It’s a quick trek through a gully before ascending the hill that overlooks the entrance to the national park. You can see the Spencer Gulf from the top and even Whyalla on a clear day. Along the way, you’ll see lizards and kangaroos. Best time to do this hike is in the late afternoon just before sunset.
Sugar Gum Lookout – 3 hours return, 8km
An easy walk that follows Mambray Creek, the path is shaded by big river red gums. We bumped into kangaroos, wallabies and a family of emus that dashed ahead as we approached. A small cabin just before the 600m ascent is interesting to check out before marching up to the lookout, which overlooks red quartzite cliffs.
Camping is at around $18 a night, plus a $10 entry fee into the park, but if you get a Parks Holiday Pass for $70, that takes care of all entry and camping fees to SA National Parks for two months.